Differences in Granada

I had a good day today! Went to class, lunch, siesta, gym, homework, dinner, and more homework. Not too much to write about. But, I can write a little bit about Granada.

Granada is different than the United States in many different ways. I have a whole list I can think of, but today I will write about a few that are very noticeable.

1. There is no sense of personal space like in the United States. For me, I think this can be a good or bad thing. There are so many people in Granada out and about the town after siesta, and people just bump into you here and there or follow you close. There is no ‘stay on the right of the sidewalk’ like in the states, everybody just walks everywhere. In line at stores, or banks, people just stand so close to you. For them, it’s normal. But for me, I sometimes notice myself taking a step a little further subconsciously. I guess I am so used to having my personal bubble! HAHA. But, it’s not that huge of a deal, just a very noticeable difference.

2. When you pass people on the streets you don’t smile like in the states, or at least in Minnesota I usually do when I pass people, “Minnesota nice, right?!”. Well here, it’s unnatural to smile at people unless you know them or are in close proximity. When passing people you don’t smile here or say “hi” but you do say “hello” when you are in elevators with people, or in the sauna or hot tub in the gym, it’s common courtesy when in the same space.

3. There are so many TWINS in Granada! Gemelos/as (twins) are everywhere! Walking home from class, or going shopping, Matthew and I are always spotting twins in little buggies. In Minnesota this is barely noticeable, but here, everyday I notice more and more twins, every time I am out. I believe that it’s because women here normally wait longer to have children. The older woman are, the more likely they are to have twins. In Granada, most women wait until they are 30 or older to have children. My professors have said around 30-35 is normal to start having children. This must be what contributes, because there are gemelos/as everywhere!

4. People dress very nice here! When going to class, I always have to dress nice. Not too fancy, but at least jeans and a nice shirt. I think even wearing a hooded sweatshirt here is too casual so I never do. People here only wear sports clothes when they are actually exercising or doing sports. When walking to school, I noticed the majoring of working women walking to work all are wearing heels, and men are dressed very nice too. Even the children! Well most schools in Granada are Catholic schools where the children wear uniforms, even the preschoolers, but even on the weekends, children are dressed very nice, even the little babies! Little girls are always wearing dresses, mostly with collars. Same for the boys, nice pants, sweaters, and sometimes suspenders. They are never wearing sweat pants or t-shirts, even when out at the park. All the babies are dressed so nice too, lots of pleats and collars, simple colored clothing. It’s very nice in Spain, no one is dressed sloppy. 🙂 In the United States there are some people that do dress nice, but in Granada it’s pretty much everyone, and everyday.

Sometimes, I admit, it’s difficult to get dressed up nice in the morning. If I wake up late, or just want to wear sweats for a comfy day, I can’t. But, I think it’s nice that everyone here dresses up. I think the better dressed you are, the better you seem to perform. 🙂

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